From New York
Kidz Klez Band of Michigan performs
in concert at Carnegie Hall.
SHELLI LIEBMAN DORFMAN
n a highlight of a lifetime, the 21 well-rehearsed
local teen musicians of the Kidz Klez Band of
Michigan took to the stage of world-famous
Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Under the direction of Cantor Stephen Dubov, the
21-member percussion, brass, reed, string and vocal
band performed an 90-minute-long, 24-song show of
Israeli dance, klezmer, liturgical and Yiddish music.
Klezmer is bluesy, jazzy folk music of Eastern European
The July 1 audience included the more-than 80 par-
ents, siblings, cousins, grandparents and friends who
traveled with the band, as well as participants of the
American Conference of Cantors' 50th Jubilee Year
Anniversary event, held in New York City
"From the feedback I received from audience mem-
bers, it was a great show," said bass guitar player Keith
Schonberger, 16, of West Bloomfield. "I only wish I
could've watched us."
Composed of Conservative, Orthodox, Reform and
unaffiliated youth in grades 6-12, the group has played
in a variety of venues — from weddings and communi-
ty concerts to a performance at Walt Disney World in
Orlando, Fla. — but the Carnegie Hall experience was
"a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we will cherish
for the rest of our lives," said clarinet player Jeffrey
Simon, 16, of West Bloomfield.
The June 30-July 3 touring and performing trip was
funded by contributions, the band's fund-raising con-
cert and paid musical performances, as well as sales
from the CD Carnegie Hall or Bust, produced by
Cantor Dubov of Congregation Chaye Olam in West
Bloomfield. Fund-raising efforts for the over 6-year-old
group were coordinated by Cindy Bolokofsky of
Recent band rehearsals have doubled as casual con-
certs for seniors at Fleischman Residence in West
Bloomfield and Trowbridge Apartments in Southfield,
organized by the cantor's wife, Christine Dubov, who
also oversees costuming and wardrobe selection for the
But between New York
performances, band mem-
bers Justin Wedes, 17, of
Huntington Woods and
Josh Rollins, 15, of
Farmington preferred to
wear their newly purchased
T-shirts, that read, "How
do you get to Carnegie
Hall?" on the front, and
"Practice, Practice," on the
Beyond the hours upon
hours of practice were the
months and months of
organization and planning.
And that's where the
parents of the band mem-
bers came in — the sup-
port system that Simon
said "gave us our first
instruments and pushed us
to become better thro
out our careers in music."
His mom, Lisa Simon,
made travel arrangements
for the group, along with
her employer, Annette
Langwald, owner of the
World of Travel in
Alexandra Peri, 16, of West Bloomfield plays the violin while in New York with the
Bloomfield Hills, who also Kidz Klez Band of Michigan.
made fund-raising dona-
flies emigrated from and places where klezmer music
tions. Parent Asa Shani of Rochester Hills, whose son
actually had its birth," the cantor's plan is for the band
Oren, 15, plays tenor sax in the band, is the parent-
to perform in a concert tour of Europe and Israel.
organizer of the group.
In the meantime, there is always new music to learn,
"This was one of those experiences etched into our
local performances to present and New York memories
lives that really can makes a difference," Cantor Dubov
to be filed in scrapbooks and photo albums.
said. "I already see a change in the confidence of our
On the next page, band members, Jeffrey Simon and
band members who attended and I know this enhanced
Molly Mardit, 14, Huntington Woods recount some of
their lives in many ways."
the excitement and inspiration of their four-day trip to
Always looking ahead toward a new and exciting
York, filled with touring, performing and the
endeavor, the cantor has already begun to plan for a
camaraderie and fun that comes from journeying and
special summer of 2005 musical journey. Wanting the
sharing the adventure with friends.
group to be able to visit "some of the locations our fam-
LrvE FROM NEW YORK on page 28